Ego Trimmer 12" or 15"?

  • 2
  • Question
  • Updated 2 years ago
  • Answered
I am considering a Ego Trimmer (already have the Lawn Mower). I have a small property with 42' Frontage and 110' depth.
My question is should I get the 12" Trimmer or the 15" Trimmer?From my reading there are few advantages to the 15" Trimmer i) larger swath makes it more productive/faster ii) "Spool Tap" performance seems to be better on the 15" (the 12" had some problems) iii) the 15" has a Brushless Motor which in theory should provide better performance and longevity.

Will Ego continue to sell both or migrate all future sales to the 15" once the current 12" Inventory has been sold?
 
Please let me know if I have missed any other issues or if I have interpreted the information correctly.
Looking for feedback

PS
I am here in Canada and only the 12" is available, but I am to understand the 15" is coming this summer.
Photo of DavidH

DavidH

  • 1,814 Points 1k badge 2x thumb

Posted 4 years ago

  • 2
Photo of Stan

Stan

  • 1,674 Points 1k badge 2x thumb
Hi David!  If you can afford to wait I'd get the 15" trimmer.  I have had many problems with the whole line feed issue with my 12" trimmer, tried all of the recommendations on this website to correct the problem but I still can't get my string to advance without having to feed it out manually.  It's very time consuming and very frustrating.  Save yourself the probable aggravation and wait for the 15" to become available.
Stan Fayfar
Photo of Blue Angel

Blue Angel, Champion

  • 178,712 Points 100k badge 2x thumb
My vote is for the 15" trimmer, but not by much. I think it's the nicer tool, but it also costs significantly more. It's also not yet available in Canada (I'm in Ottawa, I bought my 15" trimmer in the U.S.).

The 12" is a great trimmer. From what I've read, replacing the twisted original line with smooth standard line fixes the bump feed issue. Ego also improved the head design on the 12" as well.

Since you're in Canada, I would recommend getting the 12" and trying it out. If it doesn't fit your needs you can return it and get the 15" instead.

I personally think most people will be happy with the 12" model. I never would have returned my 12" if I was able to buy it as a bare tool. I already had the blower and 2Ah battery, and didn't want to pay for another one.
Photo of Wayne Beck

Wayne Beck

  • 140 Points 100 badge 2x thumb
I would go for the 15inch its variable speed and with some practice it could be used for edging..I think have the bump feed issue licked but I am on my 2nd trimmer the first one stopped working.
Photo of Tim1951

Tim1951

  • 3,364 Points 3k badge 2x thumb
My yard is similar in size to your yard and the 12" trimmer works very well for me. One thing I have learned is to not load too much string. 8 to 9 feet seems about right and the bump feed works flawlessly.
Photo of Ken

Ken, Champion

  • 71,864 Points 50k badge 2x thumb
I got tired of dealing with the bump feed problems on my EGO 12-inch trimmer, so last night I boxed it up to return it to Home Depot tonight after work. I'm still within HD's 90-day return period.

I'll be exchanging it for the 15-inch model. It'll be about a week before I actually have it, though, because the closest store to me with it in stock is a hundred miles away so it'll have to ship.

But I'll post my comparison of the two once I have a chance to use the new one.
(Edited)
Photo of Tim1951

Tim1951

  • 3,364 Points 3k badge 2x thumb
I'll look forward to reading your comparison. I have the 12" trimmer and the bump feed has worked perfectly for me since switching to Shakespeare Ugly Twist line.
Photo of Ken

Ken, Champion

  • 71,864 Points 50k badge 2x thumb
I've tried three different brands of line and two different diameters. The only one that worked a little bit was a round, generic line, but the line itself didn't wear well at all.

Apart from that, I love the trimmer. It was just getting to be a bit much to have to stop and pull the hub off to manually feed the line.

I'm also looking forward to the variable speed control and smaller line guard.
Photo of Stan

Stan

  • 1,674 Points 1k badge 2x thumb
Hi Ken, I too, look forward to your review of the 15" trimmer once you've had a chance to use it a couple of times.  I'm still frustrated with the line not feeding at all on my 12" trimmer.  I think I'll try Tim1951's solution using the Shakespeare line.  I'm ready to try anything that might work at this point.  My trimmer was purchased last Spring, way out of the return period for me now.

I haven't read anywhere whether or not the newer bump heads for the 12" trimmers perform any better than the original ones.  If someone out there has replaced their 12" bump head and found it to work, with or without the twisted/grooved line, please let me know.  I don't want to purchase a new bump head for my 12" trimmer if it's not going to work as it should.

Stan Fayfar
Photo of David Cline

David Cline

  • 36,932 Points 20k badge 2x thumb
I'll add my vote for the 15" trimmer. I am replacing a 30cc 18" 4-cycle gas trimmer, and just don't think I could make the step down to 12". The longer the string the higher the cutting force at the outer edge with the same rotation speed.

The 12" is no doubt a capable tool, but I think your property is large enough that you'll eventually want a little more. It's a small step up in price over the 12", but if you buy the cheaper tool and decide you want more (after the return period) then it gets a lot more expensive.
Photo of Ken

Ken, Champion

  • 71,864 Points 50k badge 2x thumb
Well, my 15-inch trimmer was delivered yesterday by UPS and I was able to try it out a bit last night after work.

It'll get its first real workout this weekend, but my initial thoughts are that the 15-inch model smooths out all the minor dislikes I had with the 12-inch model.

The bump feeder works beautifully, and I really like the variable speed trigger, which I think will help with edging my sidewalk (the 12-inch trimmer's all-or-nothing speed would just bite into the grass and I'd lose fine control over guiding the line). I also like the aluminum head, which will be easier to keep clean. The light gray plastic of the 12-inch trimmer was permanently stained green within minutes. I'm not terribly picky about appearance, but I do like brushing the grass off the tool and having it look decent.

But honestly, one of the biggest improvements in my opinion is the redesigned string guard. The oversize guard on the 12-inch model effectively blocked any cutting action on the right side of the tool. You were pretty much limited to sweeping from right to left to cut weeds. The smaller guard on the 15-inch model is much more out-of-the-way and you can cut by swinging the head in both directions.

Overall power, of course, is excellent. I immediately loaded up Echo .095 line and it had no trouble cutting even through small saplings.

When looking for the PDF of the manual to save to my iPad last night I accidentally landed on EGO's UK website. I noticed that the front handle on the UK 15-inch trimmer seems to have a quick release that allows you to turn or reposition the handle easily without needing to loosen it with a screwdriver. It's too bad that feature didn't make it to the U.S. model.
Photo of David Cline

David Cline

  • 36,932 Points 20k badge 2x thumb
I'm jealous... The one I got for Father's Day won't arrive until next week:



Someone didn't realize there were two different models and thought I was mistaken when I told them it isn't available in local Home Depot stores, only online. So I unwrapped a printout of the order confirmation instead of a 15" trimmer last Sunday!
Photo of SCDC

SCDC, Champion

  • 53,748 Points 50k badge 2x thumb
David, if you don't fall in love with it after the first 10 minutes, I want to talk to your wife, there is no pleasing you  :)
Photo of SCDC

SCDC, Champion

  • 53,748 Points 50k badge 2x thumb
that pretty much sums up most people's feelings about the 15" trimmer, it was an evolutionary step, not incremental.  It's the best trimmer I've ever used.
Photo of David Cline

David Cline

  • 36,932 Points 20k badge 2x thumb
Oh, I really love the stealth power of the 15" trimmer!

It is so smooth and quiet compared to my old 30cc trimmer that for a second I was disappointed when I pulled the trigger and heard only heard the whir of spinning string... and then nearly took out a landscape light because it's so much more powerful than its near-silent operation would suggest.

Edged two patios, a sidewalk, trimmed half a dozen path lights, and both sides of a fence and still had over 50% charge left in the 2Ah battery when I stuck it in the rapid charger. What's not to love?
Photo of Steven

Steven

  • 200 Points 100 badge 2x thumb
I'm also interested in getting a trimmer. It seems like the 15" is better, but the step up in price is huge in Canada. The 15" only appears to be available bare tool for $217 while the 12" bare tool is $117 ($249 with battery and charger).  I doubt the 15" trimmer is enough of an improvement to justify paying almost twice as much as the 12"
Photo of David Cline

David Cline

  • 36,912 Points 20k badge 2x thumb
I never had the 12" but went straight from a 30cc 4 cycle gas trimmer to the Ego 15" without giving up anything by way of performance and usability.

The 12" has a weird guard that many have complained about getting in the way when trying to cut at certain angles. Plus the 12" doesn't have any variable speed, it's just full speed or off. Add the issues with the bump feed and the 12" model just never seemed like a gas-replacement option to me.

The 12" performed above average compared to other cordless electric models, so it isn't a horrible choice if it meets your needs. I haven't seen a ranking that includes the 15" model yet, but I can't imagine it will be lower than the very top.

In the US there was a long term price cut that brought the 15" bare tool down to $130, only $30 more than the 12" bare tool. But now it seems that price break is over, so the 15" tool is back up to $180. Not sure why Canadian pricing is so much higher, but I would still advise you to strongly consider paying the higher price for the better model if there is any chance the 12" won't quite meet your needs.
Photo of Blue Angel

Blue Angel, Champion

  • 178,550 Points 100k badge 2x thumb
The exchange rate is killing us right now... a Canuck-buck is only worth about $0.76 south of the border right now. A lot of retail prices have been climbing up here for the past year or so, with no end in sight.

Having said that, we never saw the 15" trimmer price cut up here. Heck, HD Canada has only been stocking them for a few weeks!
(Edited)
Photo of Jacob

Jacob

  • 64,508 Points 50k badge 2x thumb
I would pay 3x for the 15" model. It is truely that amazing.
Photo of Blue Angel

Blue Angel, Champion

  • 178,712 Points 100k badge 2x thumb
Having used both, I can fairly confidently say that most people would be happy with the 12" trimmer. As long as they never tried the 15" trimmer, that is. Having used the 15" it would be awful tough for me to go back!
Photo of Jorge Arredondo

Jorge Arredondo

  • 80 Points 75 badge 2x thumb
Hi Everyone. I found many comments in this review about the EGO 12 inches. I got one and I found is true about the problems with the feeding string no working properly and I needed to pull out the string manually all the time. HOWEVER, I solve the problem very easy. I noticed the string was stacked all the times, because the string is twisted and the surface very rough. I went to the Lowe's store and I found a different brand: "DeWalt" 2.0 mm. It has a very smooth surface despite is also twisted. You know what, It works perfectly and the string is not stacked any more. If I need to feed more string, I don't need to tap the head of the trimmer against the floor. I just need to push a little bit against the floor and the string come out right away. I hope this can help to many users.  With 12 inches EGO trimmer your can do all your staff same you can do with the 15 inches. Jorge.